Northeast Tries to Dig Out, Power Up After Latest Deadly Storm

The vicious storm was also to blame for at least two fatalities

Residents in the Northeast dug out from as much as 2 feet of wet, heavy snow Thursday, while utilities dealt with downed trees and power lines that snarled traffic and left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the dark after two strong nor'easters — all with the possibility of another storm headed to the area.

With many schools closed for a second day, forecasters tracked the possibility of another late-season snowstorm to run up the coast early next week.

The vicious storm was also to blame for at least two fatalities. An 88-year-old New York woman was crushed by a tree and an unidentified New Jersey driver was killed when his vehicle caught fire by a live wire on the road, NBC New York reported.

Across the region, 2,787 flights were canceled Wednesday and scores more delayed, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware. Flight cancellations and delays continued to pile up Thursday with more than 490 grounded as of 2 p.m. ET. Passengers were urged to check with their airline before heading to the airport.

Travel was not much better on the ground.

A commuter train carrying more than 100 passengers derailed in Wilmington, Massachusetts, Thursday morning after a fallen tree branch got wedged in a rail switch, according to NBC Boston. Nobody was hurt. Tory Mazzola, a spokesman for Keolis Commuter Services, which runs the system for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, said the low-speed derailment remains under investigation.

New Jersey police said they had responded to more than 350 car crashes since midnight Wednesday, NBC Philadelphia reported.

Amtrak restored modified service between New York City and Boston on Thursday after suspending it because of the storm. New York City's Metro-North commuter railroad, which had suspended service on lines connecting the city to its northern suburbs and Connecticut because of downed trees, restored partial service Thursday.

Members of the Northeastern University women's basketball team had to push their bus back on course after it got stuck in the snow outside a practice facility in Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon. The Huskies are in the city to compete in the 2018 CAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The team posted a video of the feat on its Twitter account.

The storm also produced "thundersnow," with flashes of lightning and booming thunder from the Philadelphia area to New York City. A New Jersey middle school teacher was struck by lightning while on bus duty Wednesday afternoon, NBC Philadelphia reported. She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and was recovering at home Thursday.

Some places saw more than 2 feet of snow by Thursday morning. Montville, New Jersey, got more than 26 inches from the nor'easter. North Adams, Massachusetts, registered 24 inches and Sloatsburg, New York, got 26 inches.

Major cities along the Interstate 95 corridor saw much less. Philadelphia International Airport recorded about 6 inches, while New York City's Central Park saw less than 3 inches.

Snow still was falling Thursday in places including Vermont, where storm warnings were in effect until the evening.

The wind knocked gobs of slush and snow off buildings and trees in Philadelphia and New York, forcing pedestrians to watch out. Across the region, power lines and tree branches sagged precariously under the weight of the wet snow. Suburban streets were littered with downed trees and branches.

In Connecticut, a large tree branch crashed on top of a fire truck responding to a house fire in East Harford. The branch brought down live wires, making the truck an electrical hazard. Firefighters were left stranded while waiting for assistance. No on was injured. 

The storm was not as severe as the nor'easter that toppled trees, flooded coastal communities and caused more than 2 million power outages from Virginia to Maine last Friday.

It still proved to be a headache for the tens of thousands of customers still in the dark from the earlier storm — and for the crews trying to restore power to them. Eversource, an electric utility serving Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire, said it could take several days to restore power for everyone due partly to the challenge of clearing storm debris and repairing damage.

Massachusetts was hardest hit by outages, with more than 345,000 without service Thursday and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker closing all non-essential state offices. Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage also closed state offices and encouraged residents to stay off roads "unless it is an absolute emergency."

In New Jersey, the state's major utilities reported more than 247,000 customers without power a day after the storm.

In North White Plains, New York, 10 people were taken to hospitals with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning after running a generator inside a home, police said. All were expected to survive.

A woman was hospitalized with critical injuries after she was hit by a snow plow in Boston, NBC Boston reported.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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